Bexar County Juvenile Probation Department
Mental Health Assessment & Triage Unit

View the Psychology Doctoral Residency Brochure 2018 - 2019

Mission

The mission of the BCJPD-MHAT Psychology Doctoral Internship (Residency) is to assist residents in developing proficiency in the provision of psychological services to juveniles in the justice system in order to become well-rounded clinicians who operate in a competent and ethical manner.

Overview & Training Details

The Mental Health Assessment and Triage Unit (MHAT) is a unit within the Bexar County Juvenile Probation Department (BCJPD). The BCJPD-MHAT’s Psychology Doctoral Internship (Residency) program offers a 12-month, 2000-hour organized training program for qualified doctoral students in professional psychology in a juvenile probation setting. The start date for the 2017-2018 cohort will be July 17, 2017. BCJPD-MHAT will offer 6 full-time positions during the 2017-2018 year.

Hereafter, Psychology Doctoral Interns will be referred to as Psychology Residents, or Residents. We make this distinction in referring to Doctoral Interns as Residents as BCJPD is a large training site for internships across several disciplines and educational levels. In titling ‘Residents,’ our intention is to clearly delineate the level of training, role, and responsibilities of doctoral interns, as these differ from other students completing internships through the department.

The overall goals of this training program are to provide supervised training and expertise to doctoral psychology residents in the areas of: psychological assessment, consultation, individual, family, and group psychotherapy with particular focus on an adolescent, juvenile probation population. More detailed goals are listed further in this brochure. Our training program is based on the Practioner-Scholar model and utilizes a developmental approach. In order to provide an environment in which the Resident feels supported and is able to meet expectations, the Resident progress from a level of close supervision and monitoring to gradually being placed in a position of greater clinical responsibility and autonomy.

Ultimately, our training program aims to assist the Resident in learning how to act competently, respectfully, ethically, and empathically in the delivery of mental health services while being ever cognizant of the cultural and individual diversity of the clients being served. This necessarily includes an understanding of issues related to multiculturalism, underserved populations, and juvenile delinquency, as well as an awareness of professional issues and ethical standards.

Residents will spend about 50 percent of their time conducting, scoring, and writing up psychological evaluations with youth who have been ordered into residential placement. The other 50 percent of their time is spent co-facilitating 1-3 weekly short-term theme and experiential groups and carrying a weekly individual/family caseload of between 1-4 cases. Residents will be expected to develop skills in each of these clinical areas at the Residency-Mastery level as outlined in the Resident Evaluation policy. As a result of their clinical activities, Residents provide a minimum of ten (10) direct, face-to-face clinical contact hours weekly to probationers. A minimum of four (4) hours of direct face-to-face supervision is provided weekly, and a weekly total of 4-hours of didactic training is held to provide Residents with structured training experiences and an opportunity to interact with each other and other trainees (local practicum students). In addition, there are times set aside for staff meetings, seminars, and training workshops.

Accreditation Status

The BCJPD-MHAT Doctoral Psychology Internship (Residency) is currently accredited by the American Psychological Association as of June 26, 2015. Accreditation has been awarded for seven (7) years, until 2022.

Questions related to the program’s accreditation status should be directed to the Commission on Accreditation:

Office of Program Consultation and Accreditation

American Psychological Association
750 1st Street NE
Washington, DC 20002

202-336-5979

Email American Psychological Association

APPIC Membership Status

BCJPD-MHAT is a participating member in APPIC.

Program Description

The Bexar County Juvenile Probation Department complex is located just south of downtown San Antonio, Texas and has several field units and facilities throughout the San Antonio area. The probation population from which referrals are made have the following characteristics: between the ages of 10 and 17, predominantly male (67% male, 33% female), predominantly Hispanic, moderate to severe familial stress and dysfunction, frequently learning disordered, oppositional-defiant, moderate to severe behavior problems, often gang-affiliated, substance abusing, and often a history of neglect, physical, emotional, or sexual abuse.

Through the course of their various duties Residents will have the opportunity to become knowledgeable about the juvenile justice system and how juvenile offenders move through the Department’s various court, field, gang, and specialized (e.g., substance abuse, and sex offender) probation units, as well as its intensive clinical services and the department’s residential correctional facilities (Mission Road Center, Weekend Program, and Cyndi T. Krier Juvenile Correctional Treatment Center). The opportunity to appear and testify at juvenile justice court proceedings may also be available to the unit’s Residents. Residents periodically also have the opportunity to develop and deliver department-wide training seminars, participate in program development and evaluation, and research.

Throughout the training year Residents are challenged to refine their theoretical knowledge, hone report writing and therapy skills, and broaden their consultation skills via contact with staff psychologists and other mental health, health-related, probation and legal professionals. Through their work with supervisors and staff, Residents gain knowledge and experience in different theoretical orientations, approaches, and assessment and treatment models. Finally, the training program prepares Residents to deal with a wide variety of clinical and professional situations they will encounter as professionals working with at-risk adolescents and juvenile probationers.

Supervision

Residents will receive a minimum of two (2) hours of individual supervision each week from the Training Director and/or their primary supervisor. Residents will be supervised predominantly by the rotation program psychologist, Training Director, and/or the Director of Mental Health Services. Weekly group supervision focusing on legal/ethical issues, professional development, and clinical topics will be required. All Residents receive a total minimum of 4 hours per week of individual and group supervision. Residents will have access to six fully licensed psychologists, several Licensed Professional Counselors, and a Licensed Clinical Social Worker via training seminars and modeling in the skills of diagnosis, psychological testing, and treatment.

Training Structure

The Bexar County Juvenile Probation Department residency training program is divided into three rotations (July 1 – October 31; November 1 – March 14; March 15 – June 28). Residents participate in a variety of activities during each rotation. In general, Residents complete training within the Mental Health Assessment & Triage (MHAT) Unit during all of their rotations. The focus on the training experience in the MHAT unit varies between intervention, assessment, consultation, and training of probation officers. Additionally, Residents participate in the Stabilization, Treatment, and Evaluation Program (STEP), and with University Health System (UHS) in detention services for 1 rotation each. Finally, Residents participate in the Weekend Program (WEP) for 3-4 4-weekend periods throughout the training year. A basic illustration of rotation activities is included below. In addition to these activities, Residents receive at least 4 hours of didactic training each week, as well individual and group supervision.

Rotation 1 (4 months)
MHAT/WEP
Rotation 2 (4 months)
MHAT/STEP
Rotation 3 (4 months)
MHAT/UHS
WEP - 3 groups (4 consecutive Saturdays per group)
STEP - Assessment and Intervention
UHS - Assessment
MHAT - Consultation/Training
MHAT - Consultation/Training
MHAT - Consultation/Training
MHAT - Intervention
MHAT - Intervention
MHAT - Intervention
MHAT - Assessment
   

Note: The order of each training experience will vary by resident. Two residents will be on each rotation at each time.

Mental Health Assessment & Triage (MHAT)

The Mental Health Assessment & Triage (MHAT) Unit receives referrals from probation officers from all areas of the Department. This referral process is designed to help the probation officer better understand the emotional, psychological needs of the adolescents on their caseload and the familial issues that impact these needs. Referrals to MHAT result in one of four different services:

  1. Psychological testing – typically provided to adolescents who have severe emotional, behavior, and psychological issues and will likely be placed in one of a variety of residential treatment facilities that provide contract care to the Probation Department;
  2. Psychodiagnostic interview – provided to adolescents who appear to have mental health, and family relational issues that have been largely unassessed;
  3. Consultation – provided when the adolescents’ file contains enough relevant information to provide useful recommendations to the probation officer regarding diagnostic clarification, how to best interact with the adolescent, and what services might be most beneficial to his/her remediation; and
  4. Therapy services that will involve short- and long-term individual and family therapy, and psychotherapy groups that will be structured around themes such as sexuality, relationships, stress management, substance abuse, and effective coping skills with adolescents involved in the various units across the department. Residents also will participate in departmental training of new probation officers (JPO training), particularly around assessing suicide risk and supervising adolescents with mental health issues.

The MHAT unit is also a training site for up to practicum students from local graduate psychology programs, which also makes the provision of supervision a possible training experience for Residents.

Stabilization, Treatment, & Evaluation Program (STEP)

Residents also will participate in the new grant-funded Stabilization, Treatment, and Evaluation Program (STEP). STEP is a detention-based post-adjudication, predisposition program with a focus on the short-term evaluation, stabilization, and treatment of juvenile offenders and their families. During participation in STEP, Residents will attend weekly Treatment Team meetings; complete comprehensive evaluations; and provide group and individual therapies. Residents also will submit psychological reports and discharge summaries to the Court.

University Health System (UHS)

UHS oversees all detention services. Residents on rotation with UHS will primarily focus on training in assessment through completing psychological evaluations for placement and court purposes; conducting mental status examinations at intake of probationers; gaining exposure to pre-employment screenings; and observing forensic evaluations. Residents also will learn the psychiatric referral process and spend time shadowing and consulting with the psychiatrist.

Weekend Program (WEP)

The Weekend Program is a post-adjudication program designed to deter youth from residential placement, providing brief stabilization, intensive short-term programming, and a comprehensive evaluation of each youth’s individual treatment needs to support and enhance the success of community supervision. Residents working with the Weekend Program will conduct clinical interviews with the youth, as well as co-facilitate themed process-oriented and structured groups. Residents also will attend weekly program meetings and engage in staff consultation. During each Weekend Program rotation, Residents will work 4 consecutive Saturdays.

Additional Training Experience

ROPES/Challenge Program. The ROPES/Challenge Program offers the opportunity for Residents to participate in high and low element team building activities with youth on an outdoor course and co-facilitate process groups based on experiential activities. While on the WEP rotation, Residents will have the opportunity to participate in up to 2 ROPES groups, as scheduling allows.

Stipend, Benefits, & Resources

Our yearly stipend is $25,000 for the 2017-2018 training year and includes health insurance benefits under the Bexar County employee medical plan, professional liability insurance coverage through Bexar County, and vacation, sick, and administrative leave time for doctoral activities, such as dissertation or post-doctoral interviews.

Application Process & Selected Criteria

In order to be considered for doctoral residency training, applicants must have completed at least 3 years of graduate school, 500 practicum hours, and must be compliant with APPIC and APA qualifications and readiness for doctoral internship/residency (i.e. must be post-practicum but predoctoral student, may not already hold a doctorate in psychology). Applicants must be U.S. citizens to be considered for an interview. Applications for the 2017-2018 Training year are due by 5pm CST December 1, 2016. Applicants will be notified as to whether you have been selected for an interview by December 15, 2016. Interviews will take place in January 2017.

In addition to the above requirements, the completion of 8 integrated psychological reports is preferred.

Interested applicants should utilize the AAPI Online, which may be accessed at www.appic.org, click on “AAPI Online.”

A complete application consists of the following:

  1. A completed Online AAPI (APPIC’s standard application), including a cover letter, current Curriculum Vitae, three letters of recommendation (one of which must be from a program faculty member, advisor, or Director of Training who can speak to the applicant’s overall performance in the graduate program), and official transcripts of all graduate work.
  2. An electronic copy of an integrated psychological assessment report you have completed that includes conceptualization/formulation, diagnosis, and recommendations. Please alter/eliminate all identifying information for the sake of confidentiality. Attach as a supplemental document to your online application.
  3. Please list supervisors or a contact person for each employment and volunteer position listed on your CV, along with phone numbers and email addresses.

All application materials must be received by December 1, 2016 in order to be considered. If applicants are invited to interview, they will be notified by email on or before December 15. Interviews will be scheduled on-site in January. In rare circumstances, we may be able to allow for interviews to occur via phone or video conference.

BCJPD-MHAT will base its selection process on the entire application package noted above; however, applicants who have met the following qualifications prior to beginning residency will be considered preferred:

  1. A minimum of 8 integrated psychological evaluation reports
  2. 500 intervention hours
  3. 60 assessment hours
  4. Experience in providing clinical services to children or adolescents
  5. Some experience or special interest in working with diverse populations

This internship/residency site agrees to abide by the APPIC policy that no person at this training facility will solicit, accept or use any ranking-related information from any intern/resident applicant. BCJPD is an Equal Opportunity Employer.

Upon matching to the program, successful completion of additional credentialing requirements are mandatory for employment including background screening, fingerprint check, physical, submission of formal transcripts of all graduate coursework, and mental health screening. Specifics related to these credentialing requirements can be found in the attached BCJPD Policies related to resident employment (Appendix A). BCJPD-MHAT staff will be in touch soon after match day with further instructions regarding these requirements.

BCJPD-MHAT Goals, Objectives, and Resident Expectations

Goal 1: Residents will achieve competence appropriate to their professional developmental level in the area of Assessment.

Objectives related to this goal include the achievement of competence in the following:

  • Diagnostic skill
  • Instrument selection, administration, and scoring
  • Test interpretation
  • Report writing
  • Communicating results

Goal 2: Residents will achieve competence appropriate to their professional developmental level in the area of Intervention.

  • Case conceptualization and treatment planning
  • Implementation of therapeutic interventions through individual and group therapy
  • Crisis intervention
  • Therapeutic skills

Goal 3: Residents will achieve competence appropriate to their professional developmental level in the area of Ethical and Legal Standards.

Objectives related to this goal include the achievement of competence in the following:

  • Knowledge of ethical, legal, and professional standards
  • Adherence to ethical principles and guidelines, including professional conduct and interpersonal behavior and professional accountability and responsibility

Goal 4: Residents will achieve competence appropriate to their professional developmental level in the area of Individual and Cultural Diversity.

Objectives related to this goal include the achievement of competence in the following:

  • Developing rapport with youth and family
  • Cultural awareness
  • Sensitivity to diversity

Goal 5: Residents will achieve competence appropriate to their professional developmental level in the area of Research.

Objectives related to this goal include the achievement of competence in the following:

  • Discussing relevant research
  • Utilizing relevant research in evidence-based practice
  • Demonstrating familiarity with models of program evaluation within a juvenile justice setting

Goal 6: Residents will achieve competence appropriate to their professional developmental level in the area of Supervision.

Objectives related to this goal include the achievement of competence in the following:

  • Theories and methods of supervision
  • Effective use of supervision

Goal 7: Residents will achieve competence appropriate to their professional developmental level in the area of Professional Values and Attitudes.

Objectives related to this goal include the achievement of competence in the following:

  • Professional awareness
  • Self-awareness
  • Seeking out learning opportunities

Goal 8: Residents will achieve competence appropriate to their professional developmental level in the area of Interdisciplinary Consultation & Collaboration.

Objectives related to this goal include the achievement of competence in the following:

  • Multidisciplinary and interdisciplinary collaboration
  • Theories and methods of consultation
  • Effective educational and formal training to professionals regarding mental health issues

Goal 9: Residents will achieve competence appropriate to their professional developmental level in the area of Communication and Interpersonal Skills.

Objectives related to this goal include the achievement of competence in the following:

  • Effective written communication
  • Professional interpersonal skills

Goal 10: Residents will achieve competence appropriate to their professional developmental level in the area of Reflective Practice.

Objectives related to this goal include the achievement of competence in the following:

  • Ability to examine and evaluate clinical work
  • Expressed self-reflection

Resident Expectations

The BCJPD-MHAT training program is a year-long, full-time doctoral residency experience. Residents are expected to complete 2000 hours of training during the year. Residents also are expected to achieve the goals and objectives of the residency program, as stated above, and to abide by the APA Code of Ethics, the requirements of the BCJPD-MHAT training program, and the rules and regulations of the training site that employs them.

BCJPD-MHAT has a comprehensive Due Process procedure which outlines the processes for addressing concerns about resident performance, as well as residents’ concerns about training. These procedures are provided in hard copy to all residents during orientation.

For more information about BCJPD-MHAT, please email Training Director, Dr. Mary Collins.

Appendix A

Prior to employment, residents must successfully pass a criminal history background search which adhere to Texas state standards and PREA (Prison Rape Elimination Act) standards, a 12-panel drug test, physical examination, Minnesota Multi-Phasic Inventory (MMPI), and a personal interview.

An applicant with the following findings on their criminal history shall be ineligible from acceptance into the internship/residency program:

  1. A felony conviction against the laws of this state, another state, or the United States within the past ten years;
  2. A deferred adjudication for a felony against the laws of this state, another state, or the United States within the past ten years;
  3. A current felony deferred adjudication, probation, or parole;
  4. A jailable misdemeanor conviction against the laws of this state, another state, or the United States within the past 5 years;
  5. A deferred adjudication for a jailable misdemeanor against the laws of this state, another state, or the United States within the past 5 years;
  6. A current jailable misdemeanor deferred adjudication, probation, or parole; or
  7. The requirement to register as a sex offender under Chapter 62, Texas Code of Criminal Procedure.

At least one year shall have elapsed since the completion of any period of incarceration, community supervision, or parole. For eligible applicants with a prior criminal history, the department may consider a range of factors to determine the applicant’s fitness for acceptance into the internship/residency program.

Interns having direct contact with juveniles shall disclose to the program manager any arrest, any criminal history, and any current indictment involving a felony offense under the laws of this state, any other state, or the federal laws of the United States and any offense that requires registration as a sex offender under the laws of this state or any state, as well as any finding of “Reason to Believe” by a state regulatory agency in a child abuse, neglect, or exploitation investigation where the intern/resident was the alleged or designated perpetrator.

Residency applicants with a favorable background check, MMPI, and personal interview will be deemed as having met eligibility requirements and may be accepted into the Residency Program. Disqualification and termination criteria includes, but is not limited to:

  1. Failure to meet or maintain eligibility requirements
  2. Falsifying information (either on the application or at any time)
  3. Insubordination
  4. Poor performance, attendance, and/or participation
  5. Failure to adhere to department policies and procedures
  6. Unethical practices or failure to report unethical practices
  7. Unprofessional conduct, including law violations, allegations of abuse/neglect/exploitation, inappropriate conduct with clients or their family members, etc.
  8. Failure to fully cooperate with staff or to fully meet program requirements
  9. Inability to perform
  10. Performing outside the scope of the role of assignment

The Chief Probation Officer, or a designee, may terminate/disqualify any student/intern/resident from the Internship/Residency Program at anytime, if in the best interest of the child and/or department. (Policy Number 2.26)

Residents are required to comply with all policies and procedures of the Bexar County Juvenile Probation Department as approved by the Bexar County Juvenile Board. In addition to all Bexar County Juvenile Probation Department policies and procedures, residents are required to comply with the professional conduct and skills expectations of the MHAT Unit.


*Please note that these policies may not be exhaustive and are subject to Bexar County Policies and Procedures as determined by the Bexar County Juvenile Board.